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Responds to letter from fellow council member

October 17, 2011
Salem News

To the editor: Like Dave Nestic, I serve the people of Salem as a city council member, having been elected in 2007. My colleague's letter to the editor published on Oct. 9, 2011, offended me, and made me sad for the voters of our wonderful city.

Mr. Nestic implied that the people of Salem who elected me and two other council members in 2007 did not vote into office the most qualified individuals for the positions. Apparently he came to his belated conclusion because we had the audacity to recently vote against the performance audit. His letter and its tenor saddened me because he ignored the fundamental principle that in a democracy the voters decide who they believe is the most qualified person to represent them. In 2007 the voters of Ward 4 said I was qualified to serve on Salem City Council when they voted me into office. Mr. Nestic has no right to impugn their political judgment. Mr. Nestic's letter also deeply offended me because it implied that I am not qualified to serve on council. In the nearly four years we have served on council Mr. Nestic has not asked about my "qualifications." So for his benefit let me describe them. I have a diverse background, having obtained a degree from KSU in business/accounting. After college I worked on cost accounting, payroll, accounts receivable and payable, health care insurance, and human resources. This workplace experience made me understand the costs of doing business, and made me aware that you need excellent marketing managers to help a business succeed. Later I shifted the focus of my career to the medical field but my employer is still a business that by necessity deals with accounts payable and receivable, payroll, health insurance, etc., things that are associated with business success.

Now in my role as a healthcare provider I have developed strong technical skills that are upgraded with continuing education classes so that I can meet my responsibility to deliver high-quality healthcare to patients. The voters elected me because of my education, my skills, my job and life experiences, and because of who I am-a hard-working, honest, sincere, and caring citizen. My qualifications have served me well since Jan. 1, 2008. First, I have been faithful to my job responsibilities by attending meetings on a regular basis, by casting informed votes on matters before council, and by being responsive to constituent concerns. Over the years many Salem residents, both in my ward and other wards, have contacted me about their problems and I have tried to find solutions to those problems. I see this as a part of my job as a councilwoman, and because I love talking with people and helping them, it has been an honor to work on behalf of citizens from around the city. Indeed, the first Salem resident I helped was from Ward 2, and thanks to my medical background I was able to understand her overall problem and get the right help. The bottom line, Mr. Nestic, is that before you state in the newspaper about "voting into office the most qualified for the positions" maybe you should get to know the people that served with you on city council and learn about their backgrounds. Don't try and put yourself above some council members. We all have diverse backgrounds. We were all elected by our constituents to serve on city council. It isn't your call to say that your fellow council members are not qualified. That right belongs to the voters of Salem!




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